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(51,828 posts)
Fri Mar 15, 2024, 11:08 PM Mar 2024

People trust themselves more than they trust the news. They shouldn't. [View all]


If you’re reading this, you’re probably a news and politics junkie. Someone who reads multiple news sites a day, follows several news organizations on social media, and receives a few email newsletters.

Most people aren’t like this. A 2020 study found that news represents just 14 percent of Americans’ media consumption. Attention does pick up, however, during an election year. While roughly one-third of Americans closely follow the news in non-election years, 39 to 43 percent do so when there’s a presidential election, according to Gallup.

However, new research—and recent reporting about how artificial intelligence is changing the online information environment—suggests that even as people start tuning into the election, they could end up more misinformed, not less.

The reason: People have greater faith in their own abilities to “fact-check” the news than they have in the news itself. In the past year, we have published two academic studies that suggest this faith is misplaced, and that it actually leaves people more likely to believe misinformation.


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